IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman James Murphy said sheep farmers are becoming increasingly frustrated and angry at the ongoing delay in the payout of the €10/ewe sheep payment promised by the Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith on December 8th last.
Mr Murphy said the severe weather over the last month and the necessity for flock owners to increase feed levels has meant that thousands of producers have already spent these funds on feed costs.
He said the Minister and the Department have had adequate time to resolve any technical questions raised by Brussels and the Minister should announce that he has instructed the Department to proceed with the payment.
James Murphy said IFA fought a long, hard 2-year campaign to secure €18m p.a. in unused CAP funds for the sheep sector. “A €10/ewe sheep payment was agreed and the Minister must now proceed with the payout of these funds.”
The IFA sheep farmers’ leader said the unnecessary delay in making these payments is undermining the restoration of confidence in the sheep sector at farm level.